The Launching of World Parks

A message from Jeff Shea

The World Parks idea came to me in the forests of New Guinea in 1983. I was on a 39-day expedition on foot (and log raft tied together with jungle vine) from Lake Kopiago at the end of the Highlands Highway to the Sepik Region in the north. The excitement of being in a place that was totally pure with no roads or infrastructure overwhelmed me. Looking out over the landscape at the Strickland Gorge, I envisioned the many hundreds of miles beyond my vision as a mysterious and wonderful secret world. For a single moment, I deeply beheld the magic and mystery of the natural world.

I thought how wonderful it would be if the people of the world would always have such wonderlands to explore. Many years have passed since then, and what I have seen of the world through extensive travel has reinforced my conviction that it is important to save vast areas of land for posterity, for our children’s children and beyond.

I believe we need to look beyond our concepts of national boundaries and do what is right for the planet and our descendants. I advocate peaceful change through discussion and consensus in a spirit of open-mindedness, putting what is good and right in higher consideration than the status quo and less preferable options that we might otherwise resign ourselves to accepting.